Monday, March 04, 2013

What’s True in a REAL Teen’s Life: Parents and School

**This was originally written a year ago and I've added to it!**
DISCLAIMER: This is not the reality for ALL teens. There are just MY observations and MY opinions.

Here are the realities (for ME anyways) when it comes to these clichés:

 ➢ Parent(s): 

I’m pretty sure it’s Gone by Michael Grant that has all the kids alone with no parents, right? I’m quickly believing that this is what is happening in YA books. WHERE ARE THE PARETNS IN YA BOOKS? Or, why is one of them dead or divorced? Well, if they’re dead, then they’re dead, but why are so many of them dead? What does this accomplish, really? And for divorced parents, I have plenty of friends whose parents are divorced and BOTH parents are in their (my friends) lives. Why CAN’T they be a part of the plot? Why can’t they be good parents who have a good relationship with their kids? For instance, Lola’s dads in Lola and the Boy Next Door. They love Lola and they’re in her life and it ADDS to the story and plot. I loved seeing Nathan and Andy. My parents are a part of my life. Do I have issues with them sometimes? Of course! What person on this entire planet has never had an issue with their parents? Contrary to what it seems in YA, parents care for and love their kids. Yes, there are some crappy parents but there are great ones too.


I am now 18 years old and my parents are still very, very much a part of my life. Most of my friends have parents very much involved in their life. Sometimes it's unwanted but the majority of the time, it's important. Since I'll be going to college next year, both of my parents are trying to get me ready. My mom worries that I won't be able to cook and clean and well, live, without her and my dad is trying to teach me how to handle money business (as in checking my credit card and writing checks). In another aspect, both are still surprised that their younger daughter is going off to college. My sister is six years older than I am so they've got the "my kid is going off to college" thing down pack.

But it surprised them. My mom and I have been having more arguments as of late because she can't accept that her crazy younger daughter is all grown up. In an essence, I am very much like my mom when it comes to personality. We're both perfectionists (even though she won't admit to it) and we like order. We both love to cook and we have certain ways of doing things. My point is, without them, my life would be incomplete. I have friends whose parents are not as involved as I am but that too makes them who they are. One friend has only a dad and her mom isn't in the picture, but they make it work. Another friend has parents who are both like her best friends and the parent. Wether they only have one  parent, divorced parents, or both parents under the same roof, you can't ignore them in YA books.

➢ School: 

For most teens, school is important. Even though I love blogging and reading, school has to come first. I have to get good grades and do well on my SATs/ACTs and all that jazz. So why is it that school aren’t in many YA books? I get that they are mentioned, but for instance, next year is going to be a very, VERY busy year for me. I’ll be a senior and while I’ll be thinking about prom, I’ll be worrying about my grades and colleges and graduation. Though I haven’t read the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafattrey, it gives me the impression that school is important to Jessica and that it is frequently mentioned in the books. A lot of teens worry over grades and projects and tests. It’s normal and natural and I want to see more of that.


See? Told you I wrote this a year ago! I am now a senior and wow, school. Very important. One of the things many teens do not understand is that senior year is as important to your future as junior year is. For example, if I only take easy classes and don't continue to challenge myself, it won't look as good on my record as an honors or AP class. That is just the facts ladies and gents!

Not only that but it's stressful. Last semester went by so fast but I had tests to take and loads of applications to fill out. Not only that but I had to order graduation supplies and apply for scholarships and then there's FAFSA. During this semester, we're going to be getting everything set for graduation which includes superlatives and figuring out who our valedictorian will be and so much more. Prom, by the way, is very important. At least it is to me.

The point is, school is very important to teens and needs to be represented accurately in YA books. For some, it might just be a social gathering but for others, it's actual hard work. I have worked my butt off these four years so that I have a future, what ever it may be. School can be exceptionally stressful and demanding. I've cried a lot in the past four years but I've laughed ten times more. I've learned how I take in information and how I learn best. I know know what subjects I'm going to need to work on in college and what comes easier to me.

And this is not to offend anyone and I'm not saying that people without degrees aren't smart but how many publicists, authors, agents, etc. do you know that don't have an education? For me, education is important and it's the same for others as well. I've complained about bad grades and the time consuming projects but I've also learned time management because of it.

My overall point it: YA needs to represent school accurately.

What about all of you? How do you feel about the representation of parents in YA books? What about how school is portrayed?